Purpose – This paper aims to offer a long-term systematic picture of the evolution of manufacturing offshoring (in terms of intensity, geography and drivers) highlighting the changes in the surrounding context and the resulting transitions points (“points in time”) that have shaped its development path. Design/methodology/approach – Three statistical tools were adopted on a dataset of 644 cases. First, the authors resorted to multiple structural change tests to identify the transition points. Second, the authors explored offshoring geography by conducting a network analysis. Finally, the authors adopted gravity models to shed light on offshoring drivers. Findings – Results highlight three offshoring phases: expansion (2002–2006), reconsideration (2007–2009) and rationalization (2010 onwards). During the first phase, characterized by economic growth, firms were mainly interested in economic savings; offshoring to low-cost countries was the prevailing location strategy. Subsequently, during the economic crisis, the number of cases declined and the main drivers became marketbased factors together with the research for cost savings. Finally, in the third phase, when the economy was still stagnating and new manufacturing technologies appeared, the number of offshoring cases has further decreased, and technological- and market-based factors have become the main location drivers. Originality/value – The study is the first to adopt a systematic, empirical and quantitative approach to analyze the evolution of the manufacturing offshoring considering both the phenomenon itself and the triggering changes in the surrounding context. In doing this, the authors also tested the importance of considering the point in time in offshoring strategies.

Manufacturing internationalization: from distance to proximity? A longitudinal analysis of offshoring choices

Matteo Podrecca
Primo
;
Marco Sartor
Penultimo
;
Guido Nassimbeni
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to offer a long-term systematic picture of the evolution of manufacturing offshoring (in terms of intensity, geography and drivers) highlighting the changes in the surrounding context and the resulting transitions points (“points in time”) that have shaped its development path. Design/methodology/approach – Three statistical tools were adopted on a dataset of 644 cases. First, the authors resorted to multiple structural change tests to identify the transition points. Second, the authors explored offshoring geography by conducting a network analysis. Finally, the authors adopted gravity models to shed light on offshoring drivers. Findings – Results highlight three offshoring phases: expansion (2002–2006), reconsideration (2007–2009) and rationalization (2010 onwards). During the first phase, characterized by economic growth, firms were mainly interested in economic savings; offshoring to low-cost countries was the prevailing location strategy. Subsequently, during the economic crisis, the number of cases declined and the main drivers became marketbased factors together with the research for cost savings. Finally, in the third phase, when the economy was still stagnating and new manufacturing technologies appeared, the number of offshoring cases has further decreased, and technological- and market-based factors have become the main location drivers. Originality/value – The study is the first to adopt a systematic, empirical and quantitative approach to analyze the evolution of the manufacturing offshoring considering both the phenomenon itself and the triggering changes in the surrounding context. In doing this, the authors also tested the importance of considering the point in time in offshoring strategies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11390/1212524
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